ASL Version of Rudolph Shows Amazing Storytelling Skills


Shaylee has impressed us with her amazing ASL storytelling skills for the last two years. First, when she was 4, we marveled at her charming rendition of The Night Before Christmas. Then last year, she made our hearts grow three sizes with How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Now Shaylee, the daughter of ASL Nook’s Sheena McFeely and Manny Johnson, is back with the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

As a native signer with two Deaf parents, Shaylee’s ASL skills have always been impressive, and her personality makes her a natural in front of the camera. But now, at 6 years old, you can really see how her language and performing ability have developed over time. One thing that really struck me about this story was the newly direct confidence of her “narrator voice.” She really understands what it is to involve the audience. Look at the lively way she looks right at the camera in the introduction.

She is also able to combine even more layers of meaning in single signs. In just one example, here (at 2:45) she captures the rushing whoosh of a plane and Santa’s reaction to it at the same time.

It’s wonderful to see Shaylee’s skills grow as she does. And to see the story of Rudolph brought to life this way. Enjoy!

Learn more holiday signs from Shaylee and her little sister Ivy at ASL Nook.